JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some people who live in the Spring Park neighborhood are on alert, after many say they’ve seen a coyote lurking in the woods not far from homes.
The coyote has been spotted by multiple residents who live on the south end of Camden Avenue, which is just south of Beach Boulevard.
The most recent sighting was at 3:30 p.m. Monday. Tom Arnold said he saw the coyote coming out of a wooded area.
“I saw the woods parting. Real stealthy, the coyote came out. I thought it was a dog, midsize not too big, but when I saw that gait, I said, 'Yeah, that's a coyote,'” Arnold said.
Arnold said he has noticed raccoons have been moving higher into the trees -- a move he believes is in response to the coyote moving into the area.
Sandi Vance has not seen the coyote, and doesn’t plan on bringing her two outdoor cats inside.
“They fend off the raccoons. I’ve seen them slap the raccoons,” Vance said.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, encounters between people and coyotes in Florida are occurring more often.
Coyotes rarely pose a threat to humans, the FWC says. If they do get close to you, however, it’s recommended that you make a lot of noise and throw something at the coyote if you can.
For anyone worried about their pets, the FWC recommends bringing them inside and not allowing them to roam freely. Most coyote attacks happen in the early morning or at night, according to the FWC.
For more information on coyotes, visit the FWC website.